Environmental Charter Schools is proud to receive funding from The Riordan Foundation to support the integration of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into the interdisciplinary, project-based curriculum at Environmental Charter Middle Schools by building teacher capacity.
Through the Instructional Innovation Grant Initiative, Environmental Charter Middle School-Gardena will enhance its ongoing work to integrate STEM (with an emphasis on science) into classroom learning and build teachers’ capacity to teach NGSS. At Environmental Charter Middle School-Inglewood, the awarded initial Instructional Innovation grant will support the professional development of teachers, guide the integration of NGSS into curricular units and develop interim assessments to gauge student understanding.
Environmental Charter Schools focuses on college preparation and environmental and community engagement through interdisciplinary instruction, small learning communities and community partnerships. These best practices inform every element of the ECS experience. The Instructional Innovation Grant is a program that provides up to 50-75% of the funding for one year of a project related to improving instruction. Funding through this program is available for consultants, professional development, technology, or almost any other item relating to instructional innovation.
“We are proud to continue our relationship with The Riordan Foundation’s grantee network,” says Founder & Executive Director Alison Diaz. “This funding support will enable us to further prepare our teachers in NGSS which is ideally suited to our project-based, interdisciplinary instruction and assessment. This allows students to interact with content and skills in a deep and meaningful way, leading to greater motivation and effort, and thus, greater student achievement.”
About the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education and developed by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, the new NGSS were created in a collaborative state-led process. The standards arrange content in a coherent manner across grades and provide all students access to challenging science experiences. Each NGSS standard has three components: disciplinary core ideas, scientific/engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts, all of which integrate math and writing and require special attention to language learning needs. The interdisciplinary integration of rigorous content and application reflects how science is practiced in the real world. These standards will reinvigorate science teaching and introduce our diverse student body to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) practices and principles.